What is web development?
Do you want to study tech? Interested in promising careers? The web development profession may be just what you’re looking for! But what exactly does this notion encompass?
The emergence of the Internet gave birth to the field of web development, which today has become a highly sought-after skill in a constantly expanding sector. The role of the developer is to design and implement websites or mobile applications. Starting from a mock-up, the developer is responsible for creating the technical set of pages on a website, shaping the visible part, also known as the Front End. He also looks after the user interface, known as the Back Office.
2. The three different categories of web development
Back-end development, also known as server-side web development, involves programming all the elements of a web site or application that are invisible to the user. When a visitor fills in a form on a website, for example, it’s the back-end that handles the data entered, in accordance with the instructions programmed by the web developer.
Various computer languages are used for back-end development:
– PHP, the predominant server-side programming language for website development.
– Python, particularly via the Django framework.
The distinction between back-end and front-end development lies in the code’s recipient: the back-end developer communicates instructions to the server, while the front-end developer addresses the browser. In web development, the back-end manages databases, APIs and security to ensure that the site or web application runs smoothly, while the front-end is responsible for its visual appearance and user functionality.
Front-end development, also known as client-side web development or front-end web development, encompasses the programming of everything that is visible and interactive to the Internet user on the screen. When a visitor reads a carefully structured blog post, watches a video that can be paused at will, or interacts with elements on a web page, this is the fruit of front-end development work.
Three computer languages are used in front-end development:
- HTML markup language: It describes the structure and content of a web page, telling the browser how to display elements such as headings, paragraphs, lists or redirect links. Text is written between HTML tags.
- CSS: manages the layout of the web page, including fonts, text colors, element layout and image size. CSS plays an aesthetic role in web development.
In concrete terms, the front-end developer writes code in a text editor, saves the file and then stores it on a server. When an Internet user visits the URL specified in the file, the website or web application appears functional on the screen. With accessibility in mind, the front-end developer ensures that the result is displayed consistently on all screen types, guaranteeing a uniform experience for all web users.
Full stack development combines the skills of front-end and back-end development. This approach to web development involves the complete programming of a site or application, using computer languages on both the client and server sides. Full stack developers are characterized by their versatility and overall mastery of technical aspects.
3. Web development professions
The web development sector encompasses a variety of professions involved in different phases of website and application design. Each business requires robust technical skills and in-depth knowledge of web languages, so that we can respond precisely to specific customer needs.
The Web developer:
As a web development specialist, the web developer is responsible for designing and creating websites and their functionalities. He or she masters a variety of programming languages and may choose to specialize in a particular language to meet specific customer requirements. In addition to this, the web developer must take into account web constraints and respect all rules related to user experience and ergonomics.
This role involves the complete management of a web project, from assessment of technical feasibility through to delivery to the customer, while following technical and functional specifications.
To keep pace with emerging trends and new user requirements, web developers are increasingly called upon to acquire skills in frameworks and CMS, in addition to their technical knowledge of web languages.
The average annual salary for a web developer in France is around €38,000 (Source: Glassdoor). This remuneration varies according to the employee’s level of experience and the geographical location of the employing company.
Mobile application developer:
An expert in the development of mobile applications, the mobile developer’s activity, initially distinct from web development, has gradually become integrated into these professions. In response to changing user habits, companies often choose to link their website to a mobile application. As a result, the development of these two aspects is generally entrusted to the same service provider, promoting consistency and efficiency.
The typical responsibilities of a mobile developer include designing applications for mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets. This professional must take into account the specific features of the different mobile operating systems, namely Android and iOS.
Mobile application developers may also be called upon to adapt websites into mobile applications, or to optimize existing applications. This profession requires versatility and in-depth technical skills.
In terms of remuneration, the average salary for a mobile developer is around 42,000 euros a year (Source: Glassdoor).
The technical project manager:
Responsible for technical management, the technical project manager is a technical expert in charge of overseeing the progress of a web project from start to finish. His responsibilities include assessing technical feasibility, drawing up specifications, and assembling a project team.
The technical project manager must have a solid understanding of technical devices. He must also be proactive and able to make decisions when necessary.
Always on the lookout for the latest technological advances, he keeps constantly abreast of developments in web practices and usages. Finally, his ability to synthesize information enables him to communicate effectively with customers on project progress. He acts as the customer’s main contact and assumes overall responsibility for the web project.
The average salary for a technical project manager is 44,000 euros/year (Source: Glassdoor).
Career opportunities in web development:
If web development professionals decide to constantly update and enrich their skills, they open the door to a wide range of career development opportunities. Most of these developments will lead to management roles such as CTO (Chief Technical Officer), site manager, web architect, technical expert or Lead Tech.
4. What training is needed to work in web development?
Web development professionals can start their career with a diploma at bac +2 level (BTS SIO) or bac +3 level (licence and bachelor). They may also wish to follow an academic path in IT and telecommunications at engineering schools, or decide to opt for masters degrees in IT with specializations such as digital media engineering, management, or information systems.
For those planning to obtain these diplomas, it is possible to begin preparation by opting for a scientific baccalaureate or by taking specialty courses such as “Mathematics” and “Numerics and Computer Science”.
There are many options for training to become a developer:
- BTS Computer science and networks for industry and technical services
- BTS in IT services for organizations (SIO), specializing in software solutions and business applications
- BTS SIO with a focus on system and network infrastructure solutions
- Computer Science DUT
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Training courses at bac+3 level offer interesting possibilities:
A professional degree in IT with specializations such as “Enterprise Web Developer”, “Multi-media IT Developer” or “Software Engineering for the Internet” is also relevant.
Some examples of training courses leading to a career in web development include :
- Bachelor Front-End Developer
- Bachelor in Web Engineering
- Bachelor in Mobile Application Design
- Bachelor Software and Network Project Manager
- Licence professionnelle Internet professions
- General bachelor’s degree in computer science
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Bac+5 courses open the way to various specializations and management positions
Master’s degrees will enable developers wishing to specialize to focus on very specific areas such as e-marketing, online publishing, banking, video games or insurance. Those aspiring to greater responsibility can progress to technical project manager or take charge of supervising a team of developers. Available courses include :
- Master in Information Technology
- Master Web Project Manager
- Master in Information Systems Development
- Master of Computer Science
- Master of Computer Engineering Program
- Specialized Master in Computer Science
- MSc in Computer Science
5. Why take a sandwich course?
Throughout their training, sandwich students combine theory with practical work experience, enabling them to acquire the solid skills and expertise needed to work as web developers.
Two types of work-study contracts are available:
- The apprenticeship contract, which involves a minimum of 25% of time spent on courses throughout the training.
- The “contrat de professionnalisation” (professional training contract), which requires a minimum of 150 hours’ tuition.
For the duration of their training as a web developer, students receive a salary. The amount depends on the type of contract, the student’s age and level of qualification.
Acquire advanced skills with work-study training to become a web developer
Web development is a technical field, and the main added value of a sandwich course to become a web developer lies in the ability to harmoniously blend theory and practice. This enables students to immediately apply the knowledge they have acquired in the classroom to a concrete professional context.
The IT developer apprentice will benefit from considerable on-the-job training. Not all the skills he develops in the company are necessarily taught in a traditional academic setting. His professional commitment will enable him to work on concrete projects, such as creating applications, manipulating lines of code, and many other missions.
This learning approach provides a global understanding of how a company operates. Students on a work-study program will also be able to develop interpersonal skills, such as teamwork, following the project manager’s instructions, intelligent communication and curiosity.
Once they’ve completed their training in web development, they’ll be perfectly equipped to enter the corporate world.
Financing your web developer training through work-study programmes
Opting for a work-study program to become a web developer is an excellent way to finance your training. Not only does the student receive a salary, but the tuition fees are also paid by the company. Another advantage of work-study programs is the dual status students enjoy.
Thanks to their salaried status, students can also benefit from bonuses, a significant advantage, especially when it comes to covering the cost of student accommodation. This is particularly useful for those training to become web developers in Paris!
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